E46 Saloon Number Plate Light Fix-Cheap!

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Thread: E46 Saloon Number Plate Light Fix-Cheap!

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  1. E46 Saloon Number Plate Light Fix-Cheap! 
    #1
    BMW Master
    Car Details
    Doyler's Car Details
    Model of Car:
    330D Sport
    Year of Manufacture:
    2003
    Transmission Type:
    Auto
    Car Body Type:
    Saloon
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    I had the infamous number plate problem on my 330 saloon. After reading several posts, about the bulb holders corroding and failing I thought I would have a go at fixing them instead of shelling out 70 for an unpainted unit that could suffer the same fate! After reading DailyDoggys post about fitting number plate lights from a coupe unit I had a search on the net and found festoon bulb holders on ebay, 99p each plus 1 delivery from Hong Kong. I bought 2 and the delivery was 1.70. The plastic is good quality and the connectors appear to be stainless steel. Here is the link;
    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...m=190438456509


    Underside;


    What you will need;
    2 bulb holders & bulbs if yours are also missing! (The bulbs for the boot lights are the same size)
    Dremmel style multi tool
    Wire snips
    Wire stripper
    Suitable wire for a 12v, 5 amp circuit. (Halfords)
    Soldering iron
    Solder & Flux
    Glue gun/grip fill
    Patience and a beer!!

    What I did was;

    1. Remove the 4 torx screws holding the number plate light to the car.
    2 Pull the unit out you may be lucky enough to pull the wire out far enough to access the connection which is about 12 inches from the unit itself, don't pull too hard. If like me you can't see the connector proceed to step 3
    3. Remove the boot carpet, so working inside the boot now. Remove the trim clips, ideally you need a trim removal tool. The trim clips are in 2 parts, you need to remove the top part. To do so you need to seperate the top part so push the tool BETWEEN the top part and the piece in contact with the carpet. Pull the first part out which is T shaped then remove the second part. A bit hard to explain but should be clear when you do it.
    Now remove the two screws at the base of the toolkit which are cleverly disguised to look like the carpet. The whole lot should come away now.
    4. If you look where the carpet was you should see the electrilcal connector for the number plate light, unclip this and you should be able to remove the number plate assembley.
    5. Peel back the adhesive foam on the back, you need a screwdriver or kitchen knife to seperate the adhesive from the handle.
    6. You need to pop the grey fubared light units from the black plastic, it should just push out with a small screwdriver to lever it a bit.
    7. Remove the wires from the old units. Just cut the copper tracks and remove the wires. On mine one of the units has 4 wires and the other 3, you must remember how they were connected for the new light units. With a wire stripper strip away about 1/2 inch and tape them together as they were connected.
    8. Now using the new light unit as a guide you need to use your dremmel tool to make the gap wider, you want it to fit snugly.
    9. Grab you new units and solder a small length (3 inches) to one of the connectors on each of the units.
    10. I had to extend one of the pairs of wires as there was not enough length to reach the other connector on the new bulb unit. So if you need to solder a small length to the original wires.
    11. Now solder the wires together you want a bit of slack near the boot release button. Push the wiring connectors on the new lights so they are flush. GO AND CHECK THE LIGHTS WORK BEFORE PROCEEDING!!
    12. Once you have soldered the wires you need to glue in the new light units, I used grip fill as I don't have a glue gun. But contact adhesive may work. Leave it to dry.
    13. I also put clear silicone on the connectors to try and stop further corrosion. It will get hot when the bulb will be on so not sure if that was a good idea!
    14. Refit to the car and admire your handy work that has cost you 5 and a few hours
    Last edited by Doyler; 09-09-2010 at 10:52.
     
     

  2. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to Doyler For This Useful Post:

    Assimilator1 (24-02-2012), dailydoggy (08-09-2010),NG-Joe (20-09-2010),SlowTech (09-09-2010)

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  4.  
    #2
    Super Moderator
    Car Details
    dailydoggy's Car Details
    Model of Car:
    330i
    Year of Manufacture:
    2001
    Transmission Type:
    manual
    Car Body Type:
    saloon
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    good work..
    330i sport a big chunk of berlin...

     
     

  5.  
    #3
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    dailydoggy's Car Details
    Model of Car:
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    silicone by definition should withstand high temperatures should be ok
    330i sport a big chunk of berlin...

     
     

  6. The Following User Says Thank You to dailydoggy For This Useful Post:

    Doyler (23-09-2010)

  7.  
    #4
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    a4drk's Car Details
    Model of Car:
    330d Sport 204bhp
    Year of Manufacture:
    2003
    Transmission Type:
    Manual
    Car Body Type:
    Saloon

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    Edinburgh
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    I've just bought a set of LED's
    wonder if they will look any good.
    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...m=180481490537

    David
     
     

  8.  
    #5
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    terywall's Car Details
    Model of Car:
    325i
    Year of Manufacture:
    2001
    Transmission Type:
    automatic
    Car Body Type:
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    How did you get on with the LED ones David???
     
     

  9. tail gate handel light problem 
    #6
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    Car Details
    mnakhan20's Car Details
    Model of Car:
    320D
    Year of Manufacture:
    2004
    Transmission Type:
    Manual
    Car Body Type:
    Saloon

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    Dec 2011
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    Nottingham
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    I have seen the post where a user provided the detials of how to change the number plate bulb. User did provided the link to ebay from where he purcahsed the holder but that link is now expired. Please provide an updated link or alternative please. I have been quoted around 100 by the main dealer for the replacement included colour coding. Please help.

    regards,

    Nadeem
     
     


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